A Look at John 1:1-18

Things to Consider…

One of the most profound texts in all of Scripture, John 1:1-18 (specifically verses 1-5) offers insight into several significant pillars of our faith. John touches on things like (1) the pre-existence and deity of Christ, (2) Christ’s role in the creation story, (3) the incarnation of Christ, and (4) Christ’s place in the story of redemption.

Briefly, in light of our passage, here are a few things we might want to consider:

1.  The Pre-existence and Deity of Christ.  One of the pillars of our faith as Christians is that Jesus always existed. There was never a time when He did not exist. As the second member of the Godhead, Jesus was, and is, and always will be in existence. After all, He is God.

2. Christ’s Role in the Creation Story.  As God, Jesus was very active in the creation of all things. He is depicted here in John 1 as the Divine “Word.” To be sure, Jesus was not passive in creation, but very much part of it. He is the Maker of all that was created, as well as its gracious Redeemer.

3. The Incarnation of Christ.  The word “incarnation” literally means “to en-flesh,” or better, “to become flesh” (the Latin word “carne” means “flesh”).  And this is what John writes about in verse 14. The Word “became flesh and dwelt among us.” Jesus, though still fully God, becomes fully man at the same time.

4. Christ’s Place in the Story of Redemption.  It’s important to remember that Jesus did not appear in a political or theological vacuum. He was born in 1st century Palestine—a time when Israel was nothing more than a vassal state, existing only under the authority of the Roman Empire. If the political atmosphere was a mess, then so was the religious mood. The Jewish hope was, When would the Messiah finally arrive? Would God remember His people? John 1:17-18 states that Jesus came, after Moses, and would reveal God to the people in ways that they never could have known before. The law came through Moses, but grace and truth came through the Messiah, who would reveal the Father.

Questions to Ask…

  1. Why is it important for John to say that Jesus is God?
  2. What other passage of Scripture does John 1:1 remind you about? Is this a coincidence?
  3. Why is it important for John to point out that Jesus “become flesh”?
  4. Is it important to take into account the historical context in which Jesus was born? Why or why not?